Svithetacular October 2010


Special thanks to Lady Steed who took many of these notes.


Due to my inability to understand how timezones work, we are starting conference late. Elder Holland has been talking about love and he might be (but probably is not) the first speaker.

Sister W, Primary President

I apologize. I'm still prioritizing my physical hunger over my spiritual hunger. This one seems to be about how parents can share their faith with their children: bearing testimony, giving prayers, holding them as a frontier doctor cuts out part of their leg. That sort of thing.

Elder Claudio Costa

Something about prophets. (I've been setting up General Conference Bingo.)

Two-digit inflation every month! Which makes it easier to believe in dead prophets rather than the living? I wish the background yelling would cease....

The prophets tell us what we need to know rather than what we need to know.

Accents are funny: "Thomas S. Monson is the leaving prophet of God."

Brother McConkie of the SSPres

To those who teach in no matter the organization.

The HOW of Learning

The difference between what a teacher may say and what actually might be learned

This is Christoffersen, right?

Man, I'm doing a terrible job this session. I apologize.

God has designed this Earthlife thing to require pretty much constant trouble.

Recreation. Some good, some brainnumbing waste.

What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of god?

Or french fries!

Let's wash each other's feet.

Integrity is not naivite. What is naive is disbelieving in accountability to God.

Dieter Uchtdorf

On the growth of trees
Normal years, normal growth
Dry years, less growth, focus on survival
Which is all well and good, but what does it have to do with airplanes?
"Well, let me tell you."
Think: turbulence
Slow down a little, steady the course, focus on the essentials
when dealing with adverse conditions.

Leonardo: Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

Lombardi started training his players by describing what exactly a football is.

Can't become great without mastering the fundamentals.

Woh. Is that a communal glass of water there under the pulpit?

"I lost my voice.
This is one of the foundational things I need to have."

We need quite quality time ALONE with our Heavenly Father to develop our realtionship with HiIm.

In family relationships LOVE is spelt t-i-m-e It takes time to build family bonds.

Third relationship is with our fellow man, this also takes time.

Fourth key relationship is with ourselves. Some can not get along with their selves. They criticize self till they eventually hate themselves. Spend time alone and get to know yourself. Learn to see yourself as Heavenly Father sees you, as a daughter or son with divine potential.


Change life to focus on the simple divine path to God.


Choir (missed where this choir is from, it is interesting becasue it appears to be an all ages choir, maybe it's youth and thier parents?). Prayer. Choir 'Beautiful Zion'. President Eyring conducting this session

Presentation of First Presidency, apostles, church officers etc. for sustaining
(I always think that if you decided to be 'opposed' your vote of opposition would not be noticed and you would have to jump up and down and yell in order to get noticed. )

Elder Robert D. Hales

Mormons have their own vocabulary. Should give investigators a sheet with this vocabulary.

Agency is the ability and privlige god gives us to choose and act for ourselves and not be acted upon. bBut we must take resposibility for our agency.

With agency we can make right choice and progress or make wrong choices and move away from God. Thus we needed a Savior. Also need mercy to appease justice.

We choose to have faith in Jesus, the Savior and so we chose Heavenly Father's Plan and not Lucifer's. THose that followed Satan got no body and now chance for progression. THe only power they have it is to tempt and try those of us with bodies. Their only happines comes when we are disobiedient to the Lord's commandments.

We must continue to choose to follow the Savior.

Jesus excersised his agency to be our Savior.

Our wrong choices limit our agency. WHen we disobey we are captive to our choices.

Repentance is not easy, but returning to the LORD is worth it.

Obedience to commandments protects us. Homes are incubators for children's spiritual growth (FHE, family prayer scripture study, etc.)

to obey is better than sacrifice. Selective obedience--not good.

Hales looks awful. He's lost a ton of weight.

Elder Q Cook

As Latter-day Saints we need to save the light!

Vera Lynn and blacking out windows to keep out bombs.

"devastating moral explosions"

let your light so shine

Hang on. The metaphor has flipflopped. Or does it just seem that way because I have fuzzy sickbrain?

the majority of people are respectful of basic moral values

if the time comes when the voice of the people do choose iniquity . . . .


the role of religion in teaching that all are brothers and sisters

Bishop Edgeley

action words: choose, come, knock

Choose faith over fear, over pessimism.

Faith is a choice and it must be sought after and developed.

We are also responsible for our lack of faith. The choice is ours.

What I don't know or do not completely understand can be bridged through my faith.

if your testimony is young or immature or untested, choose to experiment thereupon


Upon arrival, some Saints refused to leave their wagon. #surelyyourejoking #wheresSamBRannonwhenyouneedhim

That argument: Not the strongest I've ever heard.

We have easy access to the words of the prophets.

The prophet is not limited to mortal reasoning.

I'm hearing a lot of comments on the nonsexual aspects of Prop 8.

That was a long list.....

Gerrit W Gong

The bread was wonderful. Keep me in mind if things don't work out between you and Mr Gong.

Funny: I was just reading about another religious tradition where double mirrors are a symbol of damnation. Pit I can't remember which religion it was.

First Dragon Gong born 837AD

Knows how to comfort us no matter the pitiable circumstances

Elder Anderson

Weird that there can be an apostle I don't recognize on sight. I don't think I can blame that on my fuzzy sickbrain, either.

Life is no spiritual picnic. We must each ask Lord, is it I?

"offended" and "ashamed" signal trouble on the road ahead

Does this offend you?
When tribulation or persecution arises, he is offended.

Frederick G. Williams: a single moral decision can leave lasting effects

(His wife is a Williams. I wonder if it's the same family.)

Unto whom much is given....

Thou mayest choose for thyself.

Richard G. Scott

Jesus Christ uses faith in his capacity under his Father to create galaxies and quarks.

The weirdly opposing definitions of faith we use often confuse me.

Righteous character is a precious manifestation of what you are becoming.

anchored in a secure confidence that the desired results will be obtained

the more your character is fortified the more you are prepared to act upon faith


Elder Russel M Nelson

let no man despise they youth
but be thou and example of the believers
(not for misionaries only)

49 Nelson missionaries?

Can a joke be geniunely funny when I can see the punchline coming from the very beginning? ------> "Every member a missionary."

Many of our friends do not realize our buildings are open.
"Come and see" said the Savior.

Extend the hand of fellowship to at least one person you did not know before.

Whaddayamean thanksalot?

linking to mormon.org

(incidentally, after months of sluggish labor, I finally finished mine earlier today)

I wonder if outlier stories (of conversions) are more hopeful or discouraging in general?

Patrick Kearon


at age 7 in Arabia, desert, camp
shoes, flipflops, scorpion
both lazy and rebellious, therefore scorpioned
apply gospel here
"exactly obedient"
JEFaust: When obedience becomes our goal, it is no longer an irritation

Juan A. Uredo

family morning scripture study
overcoming familial contention
Spirit of God in our honmes
go and say I'm Sorry

(natural man)

President Uchtdorf

Benson's pride talk (21y young)

Sister U: "It is good that you talk about things you know so much about."

How we lost the word pride, how it became taboo.

differentiating between Being Proud Of and Being Prideful

Pride felled Lucifer (if it can bring down suchuwun as he, should we not examine our own souls?)
Pride breeds hate and competition
Pride is a gateway sin
"Thank God I am more special than you."

soccer hooligans as metaphor for politics, religion, etc

As children of God, we all wear the same jersey.

The members say nice things about the General Authorities.
JEFaust: Diester---be thankful for this, but don't you ever inhale it.

never believe your own press clippings

We are not given the priesthood so we can take our bows and revel in praise.

We must seek to be like the Savior therefore we must seek to do what the Father wants

Pride is a switch which turns off priesthood power.
Humility is a switch that turns it on.

We discover humility not by thinking less OF ourselves but by thinking less ABOUT ourselves.

lose theyself in service

sweet pen analogy


President Eyring

10s of 1000s of decendents in only 100 years! Impressive!

(more humility)

magnifying a calling means to build it up in dignity by doing the service that pertains to it (Monson?)

as you pray for help the Spirit will
calm your fears
you will know what to say
you will feel the approval of the Lord

Don't worry about knowing the right thing to do or to say once you get there.


The Three Rs of Choice

The Right of Choice

next to life itself the right to direct that life is God's greatest gift to man --- DOMcK?

w/ Satan's plan, perhaps none would have been lost, but neither would they have been at all improved

that demonic impression was actually pretty unsettling in its friendliness

He's really pullling out the voices tonight. Pretty chilling.

I hope you're seeing this. Intense!

The courage to say no, the courage to say yes.
Decisions determine destiny.
(best alliteratuve GC sentence in recent memory)

the detour from which you may not return
no temptation can overcome us save we allow it

Brother Brigham: If Brother Brigham gets locked out of heaven then Brother Brigham will have no one to blame save Brother Brigham. Brother Brigham's the only one in heaven earth or hell with that power. And the same may be said of all of us.

an accumulation of wise choices
a consistency of purpose

2nd mention of Clayton Christensen in this Conference. This is his basketball story. It's online. You can look it up. I think he's quoting the moral-of-the-story pretty dang closely as well. Life is a series of extenuating circumstances, etc. It's a brilliant talk. I've tweeted it before.

Re: TSM's deliver --- the stake clerk, sitting next to me, says he was reminded a bit of William Shatner



Pr Eyring

But behold I am a man and do sin in my wish for I ought to be happy with what the Lord hath allotted me. (My wandering mind has just applied this scripture to the transgendered.)

Trusting the direction of the Lord's prophet, from Jonah to Naaman.


He loved us enough to send us that Son to save us.
And I trust his prophet and his apostles today.
That trust has blessed my family.

Incredible story about selling a property through a San Francisco office.
Coincidence? I think not.

Listen for the details in the prophet's message that will bless our lives.

Go down the street. There is a Mormon lady there who will give you what you need.

She trusted the Lord enough to discover what he wanted her to do, then she did it.

That same trust in God can change nations.

God does not rule the nations but he is aware of them.

Whether by my voice or the voice of my servants it is the same.

If you look for the voice of God in every sermon and song in this conference, You Will Find It.

This is another great talk. Wish I'd paid better attention.....

Pr Packer

Danger! Confusion! Where shall the youth walk?

Come on. The devil did not make you do it. Be serious. He doesn't have that kind of power.

The power to create life comes with it the greatest joys and the most dangerous temptations.
In its righteous exercise we come closest to our Father in Heaven.
Exaltation as neverending orgasm?

I'm totally going to hell. And thanks to my notes, I clearly can't blame the devil either.

Boy and girl kitties. Let's vote on their sex. This is the clearest Prop 8 comment yet this conference. Voting against gravity yet? Laws irrevocably decreed in heaven cannot be changed. Which doesn't really recognize all the laws already in contrast with God's laws. But his point is that the path remains unchanged.

The key to the gate is labeled repentance.

"terrible plague"

Jay E. Jensen

Holy Ghost
teaches and testifies of the Son
reveals truth
leads to do good

From the Holy Ghost a peace which passeth all understanding.

Joseph Smith's life parallels someone else's in many ways. But I didn't catch whose.
Oh! Lehi!
Visions, books, dangers.

love honor sustain

Mary N Cook (YW1)

Stories of Mother Smith

holding fast to the rod of iron can be challenging

It's funny to me that her example of confusing examples was rather confused.

Be an example of the believers in Purity

We respect our bodies as temples and gifts of God

This reminds me of my brother's wedding reception. The clueless LDS djay played a version of "Buttercup" mixed with racy soundbites from There's Something About Mary. The fact that he played it three times proved he had NO capacity to understand adianoeta.

Dallin H Oaks

Personal line of communication with God
Priesthood line of communication with God
We should all be guided by both. 'Tis vital.

Consider the sacrament prayer.

Family and personal governance are primarily influenced by the personal line.

Some members of the church underestimate the importance of the priesthood line.
Mirroring the modern hostility to "organized religion" -- which is, after all, the work of the Master

organized religion established by authority is essential cf Paul

the need for one line does not supercede the need for the other; both are vital

I like the way he's putting all this. Add this one to the Great Talks List October 2010

Joseph Smith could not translate when he was angry or upset
praying then asking Emma's forgiveness before able to continue
could do nothing save he was humble and faithful

I love Joseph Smith. I really do.

recent events in Chile demonstrate the needs for both lines
---food shelter etc provided through the priesthood lines workings
---members also needed to seek the Lord through prayer for comfort and guidance

scriptures require both lines
the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints provides both

re: The Restored Gospel and access to its truth through the precious personal line

President Monson

He looks very grave.


He using the word "proud" is the way recently opened back up for us by Pr Uchtdorf.

Reminiscing on all the people he has loved who have passed. He seems to be looking forward to his own death.

Luke 17 (the ten lepers)

do we remember to give thanks or do we disappoint the Lord

gratitude unlocks the doors of heaven, helps us feel God's love

Hinckley: when we walk with gratitude we do not walk with arrogance and conceit and egotism but with . . . something nicer than those things. I can't type fast enough anymore.

gratitude is a divine principle

thank the lord thy god in all things
in nothing doth man offend god
or against none is his wrath kindled
save against those who confess not his hand in all things

A wonderful time to live on the Earth!

ingratitude among the vilest sins

gratitude the parent of all other virtues?

love overpowers jealousy

material things make us at best momentarily grateful

Aldous Huxley: Humans have an almost infinite capacity to take things for granted.

Let's not wait to show gratitude until it's too late

We never know how soon it will be too late.

cellar filled with apples, carrots in sand, preserves
count it all carefully
then: how many tons of hay, grain, geese
How richly God has blessed us. How he has smiled upon their hours of work. Let us feast.

Electricity! (to those who could afford it)

a bad year for agriculture
still room for gratitude

HIS life is a legacy of love

GO. Do thou likewise.



Elder Perry

Woh. not sure I'ld call that kid lucky.

alotta entertainment not that wholesome
can destroy a sense of right and wrong

scripture stories never grow old

Was this grandkid named Terry Perry or was he through a daughter

That kid is so small....

If you heed the voice of the Holy Ghost, then ministering of angels, bringing power, glory, etc.

be worthy before it's time to serve a mission

Elder Bednar


"Receive the Holy Ghost" is not a passive statement. It is an injunction to act, not merely to be acted upon.

first we must sincerely desire his companionship

he cannot be coerced compelled or commanded

"holy habits" --- what are we, nuns?

we primarily meet together in order to invite instruction from the Holy Ghost

fundamentally, all gospel activities are centered on inviting the HG into our lives

the only "true" and "living" Church
true: because it is Jesus's church
living: because it is fueled by the Holy Ghost

you can tell the HG from all other spirits because it delivers peace and dispels negativity
if we follow that spirit, we will do right

Restored True Living

Larrrrry R. Lawrrrrrence

stupid kid -- the real question is why is she on the tracks anyway? the parenting fail here started some time ago

Kids! Refrain from your iniquities!

Parents who love their children cannot afford to be intimidated by them.

"I love you too much to ignore these promptings."

this is great stuff --- a nice little parenting-by-the-Spirit manual

prematurely pairing off with a boy/girlfriend is dangerous
which is obvious
I don't know why parents don't hit on this one a little harder

Cynic's version of this talk: "Parent's! Give in to your crippling paranoia!"

It takes courage to turn off the tv to read scriptures
to avoid other Monday-night activities
to not overschedule.

You know, it occurs to me that a lot of Mondaynight and Sabbath advice comes from other people's experiences. For instance, I remember a talk once that said going to a ballgame Monday night was not appropriate. I'll bet that family did things like that all the time though. We almost never do fun things as a family so I think that doing them on Monday would be perfectly appropriate. It's all about creating separate and special experiences with the family, n'est ce pas?

Anyway. His talk ended a while ago.

Per G. Malm

(first Swedish GA, meaning citizen thereof I imagine, not genetically)

The Hollow Tree (not the Spooky Old Tree, a different one)

saplings, fill soul with light understanding joy love

invitation extended to all, denieth none

lasting inner peace

a bad conscience is a blessing?

Lady Steed and I both spontaneously tried to copy the way he said becuuuuse

broken eggs
gentle response

the hollow tree no longer stands, victim of firecrackers
beware of things that would destroy from the inside out!


Jairo Mazzagardi

little trees this time
near a barbed wire fence
little plants taking out a string-feeling post
plucked from the ground and held out of the ground
The Tree of Sin

another talk about the dangerous stuff that happens after dark


It (not that) comes from the Lord and brings me happiness.

confidential interviews

different tree whose fruit was desirable to make one happy

make good choices that will allow you to eat the fruit you want to eat
or at least would be better off eating

Mervyn Arnold

poor parents
Hey! That sounds like us!
only they had nine kids in their two bedrooms
so we've got . . . room still. I guess.

at least they had some rifles

You know, if Lady Steed and I weren't so gentrified, we could probably feed our family on the fat squirrels in our neighborhood.

How can a teenager possibly enjoy life with all these dang restrictions?

You stupid cow!

Another fence metaphor! So . . . trees, fences, President Benson, nighttime, the Holy Ghost --- what else?

Repent and make necessary adjustments.

The most emotional speech so far. And he's not a pretty crier.

I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race.

Elder Ballard yo


Oh. Autumn trees. More trees.

trout snuff in conf

Given Eld Ballards' predilections, I bet in a future talk, the fisherman will be missionaries. Same metaphor, different applications.

addiction and sin : where are they the same, where do they diverge, where do they move each other along?

even just one (1) is a pretty terrible idea

Re prescription meds: Use as doctor says and keep them locked up.

Other addictive behaviors include gambling and pornography

All addiction is a surrendering of agency.

So add texting and gaming to the list.

Addiction is a disease of the brain, says medical research. But add to that Disease of the Spirit.

but no matter the cycle, there is always hope

it begins with prayer

spiritual help, and help from professionals; both good

The Counterfeit Fisher of Men: Lucifer
(nice phrasing!)

President Monson, in closing

quotes Frost: miles to go before I sleep and promises to keep

deep appreciation from all members for the truths we've been taught

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you and you and you.


"Conference is now over."


General Conference Svithetaculars at Thutopia
176.0 * 176.5 * 177.0 * 177.5 * 178.0 * 178.5 * 179.0 * 179.5 * 180.0 * 180.5

previous svithe


  1. I much appreciate the svithetacular today. It was the least I was able to concentrate and listen yet with kids. They were both very needy, kind of sick and tired, and very unhappy I was kind of ignoring them and wouldn't let them on the computer.

  2. This reminds me of my brother's wedding reception. The clueless LDS djay played a version of "Buttercup" mixed with racy soundbites from There's Something About Mary. The fact that he played it three times proved he had NO capacity to understand adianoeta.

    Yeah. 'Bout that....

    I was totally shocked, and I couldn't believe that nobody else seemed to notice. I'm both relieved and a little saddened to know that I wasn't the only one who was uncomfortable.

    But what exactly about Sister Cook's talk made you think of that?

  3. .

    Um....I can't remember. I didn't write that part down, did I? I'll have to reread it when the text goes up.

    I was talking with your twin's husband about it at the time. We were both pretty amazed. I suppose I should have said something? I just didn't really want to explain the masturbation reference to someone clearly still innocent at 45.

  4. .

    [Edit:Fixed broken/miswritten link.]

  5. We chose to run family errands on Saturday morning instead of watching that session of conference; I keep hearing references to Elder Uchtdorf's talk--it sounds like it was a good one.

    I admit that Elder Packer's talk left me feeling confused and uncomfortable. He seemed to be equating homosexuality with pornography addiction, but it wasn't ever clear which one he was talking about and when. To me, they are different topics and not really the same at all. I did like both Elder Cook's and Elder Oaks' talks quite a lot though.

    I also spent the entire conference waiting for one of my kids to ask me 'what's pornography?', since it was mentioned so often. They need a square for that on the Conference Bingo

  6. .

    Haha! Hilarious! I just might make up my own bingo boards for next conference.

  7. I had the same thought (about conference bingo). I mentioned it to my wife, and we had the following conversation:

    She: Did your family's conference bingo use words or pictures?

    I: Pictures.

    She: Mine, too. (Thoughtful pause.) I wonder what that picture would be....

  8. .

    A computer alone in a bedroom?

  9. I wasn't taking notes during Conference, which is probably a good thing... my notes from Elder Packer's talk probably would've clearly indicated I'm going to hell. (Although I felt marginally better about things when my dad observed that President Packer's talk seemed super scattered and he was pretty sure the only comment he'd remember would be the one about voting.)

    And thanks for the Saturday afternoon session notes. Oddly enough, running around like a crazy person with a 5-year-old, a 4-year-old, and a 2-year-old so their mom can help Grandma boil and package corn for freezing is not exactly conducive to hearing most of the talks. (Although it's a heckuva lot more fun...and again with the proof that I'm doomed...)

  10. .

    I don't know. Jesus may well have made the same decision.

  11. I've been reading your blog now for almost 4 years and I must say that I always look forward to reading these notes, I always find myself laughing at one point or another. Thanks for another excellent synopsis.

  12. Also, is it just me or did the John Lennon Google day image look like one of your sketches??

  13. .

    He was always stealing ideas from me.